Some may look at this blog and say, "Why would you want to read the Top 100 Banned and Challenged books of the previous decade?" My answer...???
First, let me say that this never crossed my mind until my mother-in-law, Mama G, asked me to look up a few books to see why they were banned in schools. She works as the librarian in a Catholic school so she reads quite a bit. She was flipping thru a magazine one day and noticed that there was a t-shirt with a list of banned books on it. Being up in age, she could only make out a few of the books, wrote them down and asked me to look up the reasons behind each one. Thus began my curiosity...
A few of the books on her list I recognized as having read myself. So, when I looked up the reasons for being banned, I reflected back on the stories and wondered what I had missed.
As I kept searching for the banned reasons, I came across the American Library Association's (ALA) website. I paused in my search to look over the site. What I saw intrigued me... Somebody actually took the time to create a list of banned and challenged books? No way! This got me excited. I love to read and I love to go against the norm, so this was right up my alley.
It took several months or so, but eventually I decided to create a blog and write a post about every banned and challenged book on that list. Since the ALA website had several decade's Top 100s, I decided to begin with the most recent: 2000-2009.
In creating the blog, I first decided how I wanted to approach my soon-to-be readers (with hope I said this to myself). So, I decided to start with a post about the book's name, author, info, ranking on the Top 100 and the reasons why the book had been banned and/or challenged. Then, I would read the book and write a second post with a reiteration of the banned/challenged reasons and my thoughts about it.
So far, it seems to have worked well. I have followers. I've received emails from people concerning my blog and the work I can do for them. I have generated interest in a pastime that I find is fading quickly. Now, begins my purpose...
My purpose in creating this blog, and desiring numerous followers, is to contribute to a rebirth of interest in the written word. Yes, there are still book stores and libraries around, but I find that people's interest in such things are waning. I find this very sad. A book with a great story is an awesome thing. It can transport you from your bad day into a world of fiction and fantasy. It helps your imagination to grow and soar. It gets your brain working again in a way it doesn't while we're at work performing our duties like a gerbil in a wheel.
My purpose in reading banned and challenged books? It is partially due to my rebellious spirit. =) I don't like to be a follower and I love it when people think for themselves. Knowing a book is banned and/or challenged makes me wonder what this author wrote that was so against the norm that they were criticized for it. So, I read them and post my thoughts (sometimes I may get a little heated) to get the book some exposure it may not otherwise receive.
You now know the beginnings of my blog, my reasons and my purpose for doing this. I hope you tell your literary friends about this. Together we can renew the world's interest in literature, regardless of whether it conforms to society's standards or not.
Happy Reading! =)